The award was given in recognition of Phil’s expansive portfolio during one of the most consequential years in American history – including anchoring many of The Post’s in-depth reports on the Trump administration’s chaotic and frequently misleading coronavirus response. His work ranged from high-concept analysis stories — such as documenting Trump’s efforts to rewrite the history of the Russia investigation — to accountability reporting on the 45th president’s role in fanning the flames of division during protests over the George Floyd killing.
In announcing the award, the WHCA’s judges wrote that Phil “covered the White House with the instinct of a reporter, the narrative mastery of a writer and the analytic skills of a historian.”
“His long-form reports during the final year of the Trump Presidency—ranging from the pandemic to impeachment to social unrest—were uniformly outstanding,” the WHCA’s citation continued. “They broke news, were well sourced and helped created a deeper understanding of the norm-breaking President.”
The judges also praised Phil’s tenure as White House bureau chief, saying that “the Post’s team consistently turned out exemplary work in the most competitive beat in journalism.”
Phil occupied a prominent leadership role as a member of the White House press corps, pressing for access and transparency during an administration known for neither. He did so while calmly withstanding personal attacks from the president — for his daily coverage, his 2020 book with Carol Leonnig, “A Very Stable Genius,” and his sharp questioning at news conferences.
The Aldo Beckman award — named for an award-winning Chicago Tribune White House correspondent — is a fitting recognition of Phil’s remarkable run as bureau chief. Please congratulate him on his well-deserved honor.